England's bleak winter sinks to new low

Trent Boult and Tim Southee needed only 20.4 overs to bowl pitiful England out for only 58 on day one of the Test series.

Published : Mar 22, 2018 16:41 IST

England must have thought they had weathered the worst of a bleak winter tour but they sunk to a new low at Eden Park on Thursday.

Almost three months have passed since Australia hammered Joe Root's side by an innings and 123 runs in the final Ashes Test at the SCG to win a one-sided series 4-0.

Root said he hoped the tourists could "turn a corner" overseas on the eve of the first Test against New Zealand, but they found themselves trapped in a blind alley in Auckland.

Shambolic England were backed into a corner by Trent Boult (6-32) and Tim Southee (4-25), who needed only 20.4 overs to bowl them out for only 58 before Kane Williamson's 91 not out put the Black Caps in complete control on 175-3 at stumps. 

It was left for Craig Overton to prevent England from being skittled out for their lowest Test total, the number nine unbeaten on 33.

Shell-shocked head coach Trevor Bayliss said the batsmen resembled "rabbits in the headlights" after his side crumbled to 27-9.

Root and Ben Stokes were among five batsmen to fall without scoring - matching the England record - as Boult and Southee generated plenty of swing with the pink ball.

Taking nothing away from magnificent opening spells from Boult - who recorded his best Test figures - and Southee, England's frailties were exposed all too easily.

A lack of application and poor technique cost them time and again during the Ashes, but a two-match series against New Zealand was seen as an opportunity to prove they can prosper on foreign soil.

Instead they were left to watch Williamson show them how it is done, the prolific captain producing another masterclass in the first day-night Test to be played in New Zealand.

England's Test players had already suffered embarrassment by falling well short of expectations on and off the field in Australia and they were totally humiliated by Boult and Southee.

It remains to be seen just how much more Antipodean agony is to come.

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